What Temperature Should My Heater Be Set at to Keep Warm and Save Energy?

As winter approaches, everyone wants to lower their rising utility bill. The easiest way to do that is by knowing how to optimize your heater and energy usage. Adjusting your thermostat based on temperature changes throughout the day is a simple and effective method of heating control.

What do I set my thermostat at?

According to the US Department of Energy, 68 degrees is the ideal temperature for your thermostat in winter. If that seems too cold, you can set it at up to 72 degrees and still save a reasonable amount of energy. Location and severe climates can affect this range, but between 68 and 72 degrees is the general recommendation.

68 degrees is best because lower temperatures reduce the amount of energy needed to keep the house warm. The less energy used, the slower the rate of heat loss. By losing less hot air, your home stays warmer for longer and doesn't overwork your heater.

What are ways to save energy during the day?

The comfort temperature preferred in homes is 72 degrees Fahrenheit. However, keeping your home at 72 all day is not always energy efficient. Depending on your home’s activity, the temperature that you set can, and should, change throughout the day.

For example, if you set your thermostat to 72 degrees in the morning, midday it should be 68, then 66 at night. Smart thermostats can even optimize this process for you. For every degree you lower your temperature, you will save 1-3% on your energy bill. That's saving you nearly $50 every winter!

How to conserve energy at night?

During the night or when no one is home, lowering the thermostat by 7 to 10 degrees is a good routine to practice. In fact, keeping your house colder at night promotes more restful sleep.

Your body temperature is constantly changing throughout the day, eventually cooling down as night approaches. You get the best sleep when your home's temperature reflects that pattern: warm air during the day, and cool air at night. Temperatures between 60 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit at night are best for a good night's sleep.

Why is energy conversation important?

Energy conservation not only benefits the environment, but it also saves energy and money for individual households. Operating electric or natural gas heaters 24/7 uses a large amount of energy and drives up energy costs. Optimizing thermostat control, especially in winter, is a great way to lower heating and cooling costs.

The use of supplemental heat like portable heaters, space heaters, and baseboard heaters increases energy consumption drastically as well. Older furnaces and heaters especially tend to waste more energy to work properly. If your home's heating system is dated, consider replacing it with something more energy efficient, like an electric heater or heat pump.

Other ways to save:

Other energy saving tips include using heavy curtains, resealing windows, and investing in weatherproofing technology. When your home has poor insulation, like worn-down door and window seals, it can allow warm air to leak out of the house. Heat losses are one of the top causes of overworking heaters and high bills.

Leave cold spots in the past with better insulation! Good insulation in your home reduces heat losses by up to 10%.

Are you considering upgrading your heating system? HomElectrical carries a wide variety of efficient heater options, as well as programmable thermostats, electric fireplaces, and more.

Recommended Reading

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Danielle Abram
Danielle Abram

Danielle is a classic wordsmith and unapologetic user of the Oxford comma. Her experience includes blog posts, technical copy, social media copy, email marketing, product descriptions, scripts, and so much more. In other words, there's no limit to what she can write about!

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